Child Sexual Abuse Attorneys In Columbia
Our Columbia Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers are helping victims of child sexual abuse seek justice and compensation from the institutions that failed to protect them, including churches, schools, summer camps, religious organizations, youth sports, and youth recreation organizations like the Boy Scouts.
Anybody who preys upon the most vulnerable among us, the children who need our protection, should pay the price, both criminally and financially. Child sexual abuse is an unimaginably heartbreaking act. Too often, such a crime is committed by an individual who is trusted with caring for and protecting a child in one way or another. These individuals and the organizations that might employ them are tasked with protecting children from any sort of harm, including sexual abuse.
When these organizations and individuals fail the children, they should be held accountable. If your child or a loved one has suffered from child sexual abuse, you may have the standing to bring a compensation claim aside from any criminal charges. If you’re looking for child sexual abuse lawyers in Columbia, SC, contact the experienced and compassionate Columbia sexual abuse lawyers at Strom Law Firm today.
What Constitutes Child Sexual Abuse?
Legally, ethically, and morally, children are unable to consent to sexual activity. Anybody who commits any sort of sexual act to a child is a criminal. The law offers multiple ways of holding such despicable behavior accountable. One such accountability is provided by criminal law and results in charges being pressed against the predator.
If convicted, such a process would likely end with the perpetrator spending a significant amount of time in prison. In addition to criminal charges, a victim may bring a civil lawsuit against a child sexual predator and seek financial compensation for the suffering endured by the child. The personal injury attorneys at Strom Law Firm excel at representing clients in vulnerable situations and are here to help your family navigate this complicated process.
Child sexual abuse presents itself by a variety of inappropriate and disgusting acts, and it does not have to be physical:
- Digital communications, like sharing sexual photos over the internet
- Exposure of private parts to a minor
- Any possession, distribution, or creation of child pornography
- Sex trafficking of children
- Sexual intercourse and other sexual acts
- Masturbation by or in front of a child
- Online criminal solicitation
Sadly, when child sexual abuse occurs, it is usually carried out by a person that the child knows and trusts. As many as 93% of childhood victims know the person who abuses them.
Sexual Predators know that children are vulnerable and will convince them to keep the abuse a secret from parents and others of authority. Some signs to keep an eye out for are:
- Sudden changes to your child’s genital area or anus – Any sort of symptoms that might be consistent with sexually transmitted diseases (STD), bleeding, or complaints of pain.
- Changes in behavior – Of course, mood swings among children and teenagers are common, but keep an eye out for significant changes in behavior such as self-harm, starting fires, changes in appetite accompanied by weight loss or weight gain, or running away.
- Increasingly poor hygiene – If your child is refusing to shower or wear clean clothes, it may be a sign that something more is going on.
Complications With Filing A Children’s Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
It seems that at least once a year, there is a breaking news story about a highly esteemed organization turning a blind eye to child sexual abuse. From Penn State Football and Jerry Sandusky to the Catholic Church, too many people in power have repeatedly taken advantage of vulnerable youth for their reprehensible pleasure. While we cannot fully understand the thinking that leads to such cover-ups, one thing is apparent: they are looking after anybody but the child victims.
While often worrying about their brand’s reputation or the company’s bottom line, no organization is justified in covering child sex abuse. If you have been victimized by a child sex predator, no matter your current age, contact one of our Columbia child sexual abuse attorneys today, and we will examine all of your options.
How to File A Child Sexual Abuse Claim
Child sex abuse claims will be fought tooth-and-nail by the accused predator, as well as by any organization to which that predator may belong. Many of these predators and organizations are very powerful and have deep pockets. Some may try and intimidate you into settling to make the problem go away. Often, the opposing parties will try and settle for pennies on the dollar of what your claim is actually worth.
Child sexual abuse should never be swept under the rug, and any organization that puts their bottom line ahead of a child’s well-being does not deserve to have a strong brand reputation.
The subject of child sexual abuse presents very tragic and emotional circumstances, and the attorneys at Strom Law Firm understand that. We make it a priority to treat our clients with empathy and compassion as we pursue compensation and justice on their behalf.
South Carolina Statute of Limitations on Child Sex Abuse Cases
In basic terms, a statute of limitations is a time limit placed on when a party is allowed to file a lawsuit. Many factors can go into determining at what point the time limit set by a statute of limitations begins to count. Child sex abuse victims must file a lawsuit by whichever is the later of these two dates:
- Six years after the victim’s 21st birthday
- Three years after the victim realizes that an injury was caused by the abuse
This statute of limitations recognizes the unique concerns and realities surrounding child sexual abuse. It can take years to discover an injury that is mentally or physically related to child sex abuse. Memories of sexual abuse are, many times, suppressed by the victim as a way to cope with their suffering. Sometimes, victims do not fully remember the sexual abuse suffered at their abuser’s hands until decades after the attacks. Thanks to the above described South Carolina statute of limitations on child sexual abuse, a lawsuit might be filed at any point over the course of a victim’s life.
If the time comes that you are ready to hold your childhood sexual abuser accountable, no matter your age, contact Strom Law Firm today. We will fight to hold the abuser, who took it upon themselves to have such a negative impact on your life, accountable.
You Are Likely Not The Abuser’s Only Victim
If you happen to be the only victim of your predator, you can almost guarantee that, without intervention, you will not be their last. Predators often take advantage of vulnerable children multiple times and with multiple children. There is likely someone who is suffering from the pain caused by your abuser’s actions, just like you.
There are resources available to help child sex abuse victims. RAINN is an organization that exists for this purpose. RAINN offers a hotline for abuse victims to call and seek help and information. The scars left by sexual abuse cannot be taken lightly. Reach out to somebody for help when you need it.
Because sexual predators rarely only abuse one victim, it is important to hold them accountable as quickly as possible in efforts to prevent further abuse of additional victims. Contact an attorney at Strom Law Firm today to help you deal with all the process of holding your abuser accountable. Financial compensation can only go so far in healing your wounds, but our hope is that our support and encouragement will provide you with some healing.
Our Columbia Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers Are Here To Help Sexual Abuse Survivors
Whether you or your loved one was abused by a family member, friend, or another individual, we are here with the resources and experience to hold predators accountable. If your predator belongs to an organization, who you choose to trust, we are ready to fight to the finish with any organization, no matter the size.
If you or a loved one are being abused or were abused as a child in Columbia, Richland County, or anywhere else across South Carolina, contact us. We offer free case evaluations, and we do not collect a fee unless we recover for you. Contact the Columbia personal injury attorneys at Strom Law Firm by calling 803-252-4800 and find out if we can help you.